She calls me her "Christmas buddy" because we get to chat only on Christmas day. My friend is a fantastic lady but for some inexplicable reason Christmas is the only time we get to connect and spend hours on the phone catching up. After the excitement of the day is over, it takes another 364 days or the odd 365 for us to reconnect again. A lot of us are familiar with this cycle. When I was growing up my brothers attended church only on the 24th of December to herald the birth of Jesus and after that Jesus is shoved back to the angels till the next Christmas eve. It was a ritual that took years and eventually concerted efforts by their wives to break. Christmas for a lot of people is the only opportunity to pamper and get pampered then its back to the doldrums of daily living. Where I live, the Christmas lights have finally been removed from the streets after many weeks of brightening the night skies and many hearts. Even the bravest person has put away the much celebrated Christmas tree and decorations. It’s all back in storage till the next season. The festive buzz has died out and everything and everyone is finally back to normal. However, normalcy for some is trying to pay off huge bills incurred to buy gifts and decorations for loved ones. Some debts are up to the value of €2,000. Ironically, most of these lovingly and painstakingly purchased gifts end up being sold on eBay or done deal described simply as unwanted Christmas presents. Some are even planning for the next Christmas already by joining much advertised savings schemes geared towards having a debt free Christmas.
I miss the spontaneous laughter and greetings that filled the air in the build-up to Christmas; everyone smiling and happy just because it’s Christmas (even enemies become friends for a day, problems forgotten). It’s like the reality of Christmas and the message it brings, the festive cheer and well wishes have simply varnished till December 2013; the spirit of celebration boxed away like the trees and tinsels used to represent it. Already everywhere you turn its gloomy faces of people hit with financial worries, health scare and family crises. But it doesn't have to be that way. Beyond the commercialisation of Christmas, the message of this great celebration is timeless and can't be put in storage. It shouldn't be put away in a small corner of our hearts and pulled out like a magician's trick if and when necessary. IT IS AN EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE. The mere reason that today is not 25th of December doesn’t change the reality of GOD WITH US.
Remember, in all that you go through GOD IS WITH YOU and not stored away in storage or in heaven waiting to appear once a year. Everyday offers new opportunities to be embraced by the love of God and be reminded of His faithfulness. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" Lamentations 3:22-23. So cheer up! The calendar might say Christmas is over but in my heart every day is Christmas.".
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." Mathew 1:23